The world of today is brimming with love. There are proclamations of love, celebrations of love, promises of love, catastrophes of love, and talk of love. Sometimes the mind questions whether or not love has a presence and an entity. Does it really exist anywhere? Is it really possible for a lover to abandon his own free will for that of the loved one and tread a path of the beloved instead of his own?
What could the definition of love possibly be? Who would be the adversary? What could be used as an example to illustrate it all?
In my opinion, there is no longer any pure form of love left in the world. At least not in the world of humans. And when it comes to defining love, I don’t believe it can be done at all. It is actually love that defines humans, not the other way around.
I’m sure you must be disagreeing with every word I write. There must be a hundred examples circulating in your head right now that you could use to negate my opinions. But could all of your examples be judged through the test of love? Love leaves, love destroys, love burns, and love kills too yet it remains unconcerned of the damage it leaves in its path.
Love also gives life.
Veneration for Allah (swt) is the height of the love that is borne out of tear-filled eyes. It is an ever watchful silence that waits for the door to open for it to get the first glance. That glance anticipates Him (swt) to question, ask the name, be happy, be accepting, and finally say ‘Go… I am pleased with you.’
The antonym of love is not hate. Hate is an inhuman emotion, the mother of envy. What good is it in the world of humans? The contrast of love is freedom because love enslaves, binds, and enchains. Whatever the lover wishes, when he wishes, how he wishes, and where he wishes has to be abided by. There is no question of one’s own will or desire here. It is the opposite that has to be heeded in love. In love, the eyes translate and the hearts endow meaning and give birth to the throbs of knowledge and presumptions.
Love faces its greatest adversary in the form of self. The self creates a barrier from loving the only One who deserves to be loved and leads man, in his state of naivety, to end up with someone else. This results in the victory of the self.
Parents love their children.
Yes, it is true. Perhaps they love for a short time or perhaps they do so temporarily. Parents rejoice when their children are born. They name them, feed them, and take care of them. They take care of them through the thick and thin of life. But when the children are older, they wish payment for all the good they did for them. Four children of the same parents, in the same house yet the one who earns the most is always the most loved. His wife and children are the dearest. The one who could not make much of his life has a status as lowly as the house servant. If the parents get angry at the children, it is this child who is threatened to be disinherited. And what kind of love is this of the parents for the children that though it teaches them all the tricks of succeeding here but gives no thought of whether or not they will succeed in the hereafter. What is the difference then, between setting up a profitable factory and producing offspring?
How can any task done with the expectation of reward be considered ‘love’?
The leaders love their people.
What a well-crafted, politically correct phrase! In a country where the children of the poor fight like dogs in search of their daily bread from piles of trash, it is easy to believe with deep conviction in the truth of this phrase. In a country where concepts of sin and virtue, righteousness and vice, and retribution and pardon are no longer alive, to utter such phrases is akin to molesting and pillaging the very concept of culture.
Ok, let’s change the track a little. So if nothing else, then a wife definitely loves her husband. What other reason would she leave her home of so many years and her blood relatives to come and start living with him?
Yes, you are right. But after years of living as husband and wife, if the husband utters one wrong word, or she has to pass one day in discomfort, or if he starts to earn less, gets sick, or develops interest in a hobby of his own, then the wife takes not a second to say that she has never seen a moment of happiness or peace with him. She picks up the kids and leaves in an instant. The poor husband is then seen running from one relative to the next in search of mediators, so similar to the frantic run of centuries ago between Safa and Marwa for water.
But let’s not incriminate the wives entirely here. The husbands are no less than wives when it comes to proving their ‘love’. Should the wife start looking less pretty, gets sick, or talks less lovingly, she falls from his graces and he starts to desire ‘perfection’. Whether or not the husbands can succeed in attaining this perfect vision of a life partner or not is a whole different story. But it doesn’t change the fact that desires do crash upon the shores of his parched soul every waking moment of his life. He has no eyes for the wife that is already in the house.
Shame on such love. It is deception in love to even have the thought of another enter the mind while in the presence of the beloved. Yet, there are millions of such lovers in the world today who sit for hours in front of the avowed ones with the thoughts and images of others embellishing their minds and garlanding their hearts. Still, they affirm their love vehemently. Oh! What self-gullibility!
So should this confirm the belief that a boy can fall in love with a girl?
Perhaps this is an irony of sorts. Before marriage, there is talking all through the night with loving nothings poured into each other’s ears for hours, promises of living and dying together, and assurances of spending entire lives with each other. Then comes marriage. The above routine continues, but the listener changes. So was it love? Or just infatuation? Or some physical need? The intoxication of modern love takes only six months to wear off.
So, if one looks like a person of faith, a Molvi Sahib, it is assumed that he would love for the sake of Allah (swt) if for nothing else.
Yes, truly said. Yet, it is quite unfathomable how people profess their love for other people for the sake of Allah (swt). I have never been able to love Allah (swt) for the sake of Allah (swt). And to add insult to injury, such people also fallout with others for the sake of Allah (swt) too to an extent of severing ties with them entirely. What if Allah (swt) said that he had forgiven the one with whom one had remained angry and distanced for his entire life in His name? What then?
I think love is always one sided. Anything that is two sided would technically be considered a business, not a sentiment or emotion.
And what of the person who loves Allah (swt)?
Yes, it is a good thing. Everyone needs to love Allah (swt). It is the right of Allah (swt), The Magnificent, The All Powerful, to be loved. The wise say love is like a perfume, the scent of which you could not hide even if you tried. It starts to reflect from the eyes, the countenance, and behavior. Love rules the heart, echoes in the mind, and graces the personality.
So then, why does the love that we profess for Allah (swt) not shimmer from our eyes? Or glow from our face, perfume our breath, rule our heart, scent the air, adorn our personality, wet our eyes at night, emblazon our speech, unease our temperament, raise us from deep slumber, enlighten the sleeping mind, alter our behavior, obsess our every waking thought, turn us into a good for nothing, encourage migration, give hope, or make our entire being desirous of meeting with Him (swt)?
Who could ever believe in an empty shell of a promise that has had no effect of any kind upon the being?
I am sorry, but I haven’t been able to see the proof that this love exists anywhere in anyone. If you have any other attestation or verification that could prove otherwise, please present it. Until then, I will arrest my case.
As far as I am concerned, I have been conducting my drama of love in the court of the One who gauges my desire and fulfills my need. There is no saying when He (swt) will make real my thespian existence.